The wide variety of consumption modes that cannabis offers means that there’s a suitable experience out there for just about everyone. We have spoken on this site before about how, if smoking isn’t something that appeals to you, there are plenty of ways to incorporate cannabis into your life without lighting up. Today we’ll explore one of those methods in a bit more detail.
Tinctures are a great place to begin if you’re a cannabis novice or if you’ve had a negative experience that has turned you off to the idea of smoking. For those who are more versed in the world of cannabis, tinctures can also provide a great new way to enjoy the substance.
But what is a tincture, exactly, and how can you get one?
A tincture is a concentrated extract of the cannabis plant. It’s most often made by absorbing components of the herb into high proof alcohol. It’s also possible to omit the intoxicating effects tinctures provide by opting for a glycerin-based tincture instead of one made with alcohol. However, it’s more difficult to make a glycerin tincture on your own, so for first-timers attempting to create a tincture, alcohol is usually the best choice.
Once you have your tincture, it can be used in a wide variety of ways. The simplest option is to consume it orally—with a few drops under the tongue. If the taste of the pure tincture in your mouth bothers you, or if you find you’re not comfortable holding it under your tongue for a few minutes to allow it to fully take effect, you can also create your own edibles on the fly by adding some of your tincture to almost any food. Put a few drops in your mashed potatoes, give them a stir, and you’re off to the races.
You can create your own tincture at home, and the process isn’t too difficult. The first step is the most complicated—you must decarboxylate your flower. There are a number of ways to get this done, so read up on the options and choose the best method for you.
Once your cannabis has been decarbed, the process is fairly easy. Put it into a mason jar, add high proof grain alcohol (such as Everclear or 90 proof vodka) until the herb is covered and put the jar somewhere dark and cool.
Now you have a few weeks to wait. Stop by your jar once a day and give it a little shake to ensure that everything is mixing well as the components bind. This will help the cannabinoids absorb more effectively. When the tincture turns dark green, it means the cannabinoids have been absorbed. Strain the plant matter out of the liquid and discard it.
The liquid you have left is your tincture! Now simply store it in a dropper bottle and carry it with you to use as needed.
What makes tinctures such a good mode of consumption?
One important factor is that they take effect quickly. If you take your tincture sublingually, it’s absorbed right into the bloodstream. This gives you both faster and longer-lasting effects than just about any other method of cannabis use.
Are you concerned about the calories that come from using edibles? With tinctures, that’s not a factor—leave the brownie on the plate and just eat the good stuff directly.
Tinctures can be taken discreetly, without anyone knowing what you’re doing. In a world where cannabis use is still stigmatized, that matters. A tincture has no cannabis smell, and it looks like any other medicine in a bottle with a dropper.
And if you’ve ever had the unpleasant experience of taking more cannabis than you intended and riding out an unpleasant high, you’ll know how valuable it can be to precisely control your dose. Tinctures give you that power.
If you haven’t yet tried tinctures, take the opportunity to see what they can do for you. Visit your local dispensary for help—or try making your own!
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